Before I did, though, I got a big chunk of the landscaping done, namely the hardscape. Which translates into FOUR TONS OF ROCK moved by yours truly. I have some serious guns right now. But we'll get to that later. Massive picspam coming up, and I'm not even kidding. Like, 40 pictures or something redonk. OK, so remember how my backyard looked like this at the end of July?
But oh, there was so much in between from the last post to now. First, they had to put the plaster in. All of those pipes that had been sticking out needed to be cut down, the jets/
Then they trowel on this thick VERY BLUE paste. I begin to be a little concerned that maybe I didn't pick the right color.
They go from the deep end to the shallow, and boy, that looks.... blue. And it doesn't have the texture I thought it would. Hmm.
Hot tub! And that's protective paper, NOT A PINK DECK, LIZ.
They were wearing these weird shoes - four spikes in the corner of each metal platform - it looked like someone had walked over the plaster with toothpicks when they moved around (but that's easier to fill back in that big ol' footprints.)
Boy, that looks... stark.
Fixing the mini-pogo holes
Can you see the red plugs that await my diving board?
Yeah, this isn't looking like the rock that I pointed at and said "This color, please." HMMM.
They are done and it has to dry a bit.
Ok, while it dries, it looks a bit better. (I took this picture from our Puerto Rico vacation, got the RGB for the ocean, and we matched that for the pool plaster.)
"Hey, Laura? We're professionals. We know how to do our job. The plaster wasn't done."
They sandblasted it to reveal the black flecks, etc. THEN THEY STARTED FILLING IT UP. \o/
And here's the sand from the sandblasting, and that's a big hose that sucked out the gunk and ran it down into the main sewer line.
(They're finishing the sandblasting to the main pool.)
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE SPA...
Sandblasting is done and time to fill. Because it was super hot, the upper plaster needed to stay moist while the pool filled from the bottom up. That's why the sprinkler is going.
THAT COLOR is much softer. And so begins the 3 day fill up. 3 days. 38,000 gallons of water. (Um, yes, my pool is 10 feet shy of being a junior Olympic. I LIKE SWIMMING LAPS, OK?)
Not even a little close.
Day 2 of fill up.
So the MR. and I had to keep the plaster watered as it filled, and as we stood there with a hose (we had three going at once) it became hypnotic staring at the water. At one point my husband said in an almost drugged voice, "I'm just going to fall in." NO YOU ARE NOT BECAUSE THERE IS ONE FOOT OF WATER AND YOU ARE 9 FEET UP, DING DONG. But yeah, it was touch and go for the both of us there for a spell...
Time to get some hardscape and landscaping done! 15 trees need to go in, 10 Italian Cypress (we think we're going to add 4 more, actually) and 5 Leyland Cypress. We hired 2 Day Laborers (read: illegal immigrants) to come help us rip out sod on a huge stretch (38 feet long, 10 feet deep, one foot down) of our lawn, till it up, and help us move the trees. They were the NICEST guys, all of their family is back in Mexico, they've been here for 12 years sending as much money back as they can to keep everyone alive. We brought them back for a few days to do random things to pay them. And we took them to lunch, etc., and the pool man was so impressed with how great they were that he hired them on the spot. :) YAY HELPING PEOPLE THAT DESERVE IT! We have their number to call for any future odd jobs. Great guys. (I don't have their picture, because see: illegals.)
Here is a pic of most of the trees, with the Mr. standing in for scale. Yeah, we needed extra hands to move the trees. (And if anyone in DFW needs a good place for trees, boy, do I know the spot.)
Five in! 10 more to go.
Meanwhile, the pool is still filling....
But I still can't belly flop, so I start on another landscape project, filling in the step pads. First, I line them with weed block landscape fabric.
I put the edging from the other picture along the inner side.
4 more trees done! (We felt another was needed, so that made the 15th tree.)
The Mr. and a helper bent over while backfilling the tree holes with good soil. Remember how I have crappy dirt? I dug most of that up for another project you're about to see.
EXCEPT CRAP, MASSIVE RAIN STORM! NOOOOOOOO! We staked the last two trees in a downpour, took our drenched selves inside and waited until the next day to finish up projects. Um, at least the pool will finish filling up? =P
Remember my step pads? I didn't want to buy fourteen tons of expensive blue rock, so my neighbors volunteered their gravel to help me raise the 6 inch gap to a 2 inch gap. But the catch was I had to shovel it. under the blue rock there you'll see the gravel. That's TEN WHEELBARROWS OF ROCK. Oh, and did I mention I was doing this all around the ENTIRE PERIMETER OF THE POOL? *cry* My back was so sore, you have no idea.
We don't have the shade structure built yet, and we don't want people coming in the gate and bringing dirt up on the deck, which means I got to make a 20 foot step. And build a retaining wall around the backside as we have a 2+ foot cantilevered deck. This was 2 of my 4 tons of rock moved, btw. Not finished (obv.) but I did this stretch in one morning (11am - 1 pm.)
Here's the back corner, and I had to build up a slope, level it, then start building a 2 foot wall. THEN. I had to take the crappy soil and fill in the 2 foot gap between the wall and the pool to make it high enough for me to lay landscape fabric, gravel, and then the pretty blue rock. OY. (Oh, and I had to dig up and move the irrigation, because the irrigation dude we hired apparently thought I was making things up. THANKS FOR NOTHING, DUDE.) I need to add more rock, btw. and mix it up better. That can wait a few days, though. I'm worn out.
This stretch is over 40 feet and wraps around. I am a MASTER of the string line and level, you guys. Also, I had to do this TWICE because my lovely kids thought they'd help. I had to take the whole thing apart and re-do it. No, I'm not joking. CRY.
The landscaping isn't done, we still have to replace the back fence, and I'm not sitting in it with a margarita (I did that yesterday) but here's what the finished pool looks like.
I AM VERY HAPPY WITH IT. (You can scroll through the whole gallery if you want.)
I'm heading to a landscape place to buy some plants and get tacos. HEY GUYS. GUYS. GUESS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO WHEN I'M DONE? If you guessed jump in my mother truckin' pool, YOU ARE CORRECT.